The first of three separate Freedom Convoys is due to arrive in Washington DC as early as Wednesday, but our feds seem more prepared for the onslaught than Ottawa was when the rigs rolled in to town last month.
The first convoy has the benefit of starting pretty close to its intended target: President Joe Biden’s hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania. From ABC 7:
As of 2 p.m. Tuesday, Bob Bolus said his plan to lead a truck convoy from Scranton, Pa. to the DC Beltway was still on for Wednesday. The exact arrival time, however, is still to be determined.
The group plans on leaving Scranton around 8 a.m. — making stops in Harrisburg and Baltimore before heading here.
“We’re going to travel the Beltway at a safe speed,” Bolus said. “We’re not looking for a battle. Don’t create one.”
Bolus, who is a vocal Trump supporter, explained that his convoy will attempt to cause gridlock on I-495.
“Yesterday you said the protest could spill into Thursday. At this point, do you anticipate it spilling into Friday and the weekend or more a 24-hour protest?” 7News reporter Kevin Lewis asked Bolus.
“We’re not going to camp there. Let me put it that way,” Bolus replied. “We’re not camping on the Beltway. We’re gonna have our voices heard and let them understand this is only the tip of the iceberg.”
That will put Bolus and any fellow truckers he picks up in DC area a week before the State Of The Union — the intended time frame for the two other convoys. Bolus told ABC7 that he’s keeping his convoy outside of the District of Columbia, as he believes the states of Maryland and Virginia will afford him more due process should he be arrested. He also said he’d call the whole thing off if there were too few vehicles willing to participate. Bolus’ plan involves simply locking down the already snail’s-pace of Beltway traffic. Though he declined to say how long he expected his protest to last, Bolus insisted the plan is to make their voiced heard and then leave.
The two other convoys, “The People’s Convoy” departing from California on Wednesday, and the “American Truckers Freedom Convoy” which has several start points, the first also in California. The plan seems to be to converge on DC in time for the State Of The Union address on March 1.
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They might find less of a welcoming atmosphere than the Ottawa protest. In Ottawa, police initially believed organizers who told officials the Freedom Convoy would only last a weekend, rather than the three weeks it took to push truckers off city streets. These truckers do not have the benefit of that doubt. The Department of Defense approved 700 National Guard troops late Tuesday night to protect the capital, though none will be carrying weapons. Capitol police are also on high alert, setting up roadblocks around the seat of government using garbage and dump trucks to block roadways.
We’ll be following these events closely and will update you as the story unfolds.